Gov. Rick Snyder meets with Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce

Published: May. 6, 2018 at 11:05 PM EDT
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The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce hosted Governor Rick Snyder to give community members the chance to voice their concerns about the future of the Upper Peninsula.

"In small communities like ours it's a challenge to make our voices heard in Lansing," said Brian Donnelly, Board President of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce. "It's great to have the Governor here on the ground and talk to people in the community."

On Saturday, May 5, the Governor gave the 2018 Commencement Address at Northern Michigan University, where some students turned their backs in protest. Gov. Snyder says that ability to protest is what makes the United States great.

"That's part of democracy, in terms of some people protesting at graduation," said Governor Rick Snyder. "They did it in a respectful way so I view it as, we should be proud we're in a country where people can have differences of opinnion as long as it's done with civility."

That protest was in part due to the Governor's handling of the Flint Water Crisis and Gov. Snyder says Flint's water has been compliant with federal standards for almost two years. When asked about the Line 5 Pipeline under the Mackinac Bridge, he says shutting it down may not be the answer.

"What I can tell you is a lot of time and resources are going into making sure we can keep a thoughtful process going into dealing with this issue because we need to protect the Great Lakes," said Governor Snyder.

He says his office supports the re-opening of the Empire Mine in Negaunee. The Governor recognized the Upper Peninsula for its handling of the opioid epidemic facing the state, and he praised the 'Angel Program,' where substance abusers can go into any state police post for help.

"I want to compliment you, the Angel Program that started in Escanaba was a leader for all of Michigan but we need to keep that up so a lot of it is continuing education, helping identify people in need and get them connected," said Governor Snyder.

The governor will continue his tour of the Upper Peninsula in Ironwood on Monday, May 7, before heading back downstate.